Katarina Johnson-Thompson won her first heptathlon title in three years as she successfully defended her Commonwealth Games crown.
The 29-year-old triumphed with 6,377 points, ahead of Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor, who won silver, and her England teammate Jade O’Dowda in third.
It is Johnson-Thompson’s first victory since winning the world title in 2019, having recovered from at least one career-threatening injury.
A ruptured Achilles threatened her Olympic dream last year and, although she made it to Tokyo, she suffered a serious calf injury in the 200m and had to withdraw.
Her injury nightmare kept her from defending her world title in Oregon last month, finishing eighth, as Nafi Thiam reclaimed the crown after losing to Johnson-Thompson in Doha in 2019. But at Alexander Stadium she ended his expectation of a win.
Johnson-Thompson held an overnight lead and held onto a 122-point advantage after Wednesday morning’s long jump.
She then cemented her lead with a stunning personal best 44.33m in the javelin, one of her weakest events, leaving her on the brink of gold.
That gave her a 136-point advantage over O’Connor of Northern Ireland going into the final 800m and she ran two minutes 13.93 to finish second in the race and comfortably take the overall victory.
Thompson-Herah wins gold in women’s 100m
Olympic Champion, Jamaica Elaine Thompson-Herah won her first Commonwealth Games title in the women’s 100m, while the Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala propelled to victory in the men’s 100m.
Thompson-Herah won in 10.95 seconds, while England Daryl Neita won bronze with a run of 11.07 as she recovered well from a poor start off the blocks.
Thompson-Herah had never won an individual Commonwealth title before despite her five Olympic gold medals.
Elsewhere in Athletics Wednesday night, Scotland Eilish McColgan followed in her mother’s footsteps when she won gold in the women’s 10,000m, beating Kenya’s Irene Cheptai for a thrilling victory in record time at the Games.
Liz McColgan won the same title in 1986 and 1990, as well as the world title in 1991, and now Eilish has written her own story after a series of big event near misses.
She set a fast pace early on Wednesday and was eventually left alone with Cheptai for the final four laps before gritting her way through the final 150 meters and winning in 30 minutes and 48.60 seconds.
Dean becomes England’s most decorated athlete in singles matches
In the swimming pool, Tom Dean became England’s most decorated athlete at a single Commonwealth Games, leaving Birmingham with a “special” gold after six successive silvers.
Dean was again beaten by Scotland Duncan Scott in the men’s 200 meter individual medley on Wednesday night, having also been edged out by his friend and rival over the same distance in the freestyle over the weekend.
But alongside Brodie Williams, James Wilby and James Guy, Dean finally got his hands on Commonwealth gold as England finished eight hundredths of a second ahead of Australia in the 4x100m medley relay final masculine, with Scotland.
rounding out the podium spots at a noisy aquatic center in Sandwell.
Dean notched a famous Olympic gold in the men’s 200m freestyle last year, edging out Scott, who has had some revenge in recent days with two individual victories over the Londoner.
In the men’s 50m freestyle, well proud followed his victory in the 50m butterfly with a second gold of the games, with England teammate Lewis Burras 0.32 seconds behind in second place.
Proud also won the event at the World Championships in June and was happy to bounce back from finishing fifth at Tokyo 2020, saying: “So much has changed. This is really my year of redemption.”
Bethany Firth won the Commonwealth of Northern Ireland’s first gold medal in the women’s S14 200m freestyle pool, with English duo Jessica-Jane Applegate and Louise Fiddes second and third respectively.
England flag bearer Campbell wins weightlifting gold
In weightlifting, England’s standard bearer Emily Campbell won gold in the women’s +87kg category, the 28-year-old setting a new personal best and Games record of 124kg in the snatch portion of the event, three kilograms ahead of the defending champion Feagaiga Stowers of Samoa.
In front of a packed crowd at the NEC, the pair traded Games records with their opening cleans, before Stowers came up short at 154kg to confirm Campbell the gold medal.
With two lifts still to go, Campbell raised the bar again with a successful lift of 157lbs, before ending her competition performing 162kg, a new Commonwealth record that eclipsed her total score at the Tokyo Olympics by three kilograms.
Elsewhere, England Evie Richards put a “terrible year” behind her to win Commonwealth gold in Wednesday’s mountain bike race.
There was no sign of a back injury or multiple illnesses that have plagued the world champion for the past six months as she rode flawlessly on the first of seven laps around Cannock Chase Forest for improve on the silver she won four years ago.
There was a scare with two laps to go when she slid into a corner and had to come back up, but it was the only moment in the 95-minute race where a victory for Richards looked doubtful and she ended up being a comfortable winner Australia’s Zoe Cuthbert and Candice Lill of South Africa, with Isla Short of Scotland fourth.
“I had a terrible year,” said the 25-year-old. “From being world champion last year, this year has gone to shambles. I had a bad back in February and this is the first race without pain, without tears. Just to finish a race, it seems silly , but it’s such a special moment.”
England team win gold double in judo
In judo, Arsenal fan Jamal Petgrave presented the gold before saying he would love to parade the medal at the Emirates Stadium.
Petgrave went into extra time to produce a ‘Golden Score’ victory over Mauritian judoka Remi Feuillet before his thoughts quickly turned to the upcoming Premier League campaign.
“I’m looking forward to the new season and the ‘All or Nothing’ documentary,” Petgrave said after his thrilling victory at the Coventry Arena in the men’s -90kg division.
“I hope to attend more games and I would like to show the medal at the stadium.”
England also won gold in women’s -78kg as Emma Reid beat her “idol” Natalie Powell 1-0 to deprive the Welsh judoka of a second Commonwealth title.
Earlier, Scotland‘s Rosemary Lenton became a Commonwealth gold medalist at the age of 72 by winning the women’s B6-B8 pair final alongside Pauline Wilson.
Lenton, who was previously a competitive sailor and cyclist, was making her Games debut in para-ball, two decades after complications from routine surgery forced her to use a wheelchair.
What started as a close final against Australians Cheryl Lindfield and Serena Bonnell, tied at 5-5 early on, turned into a blast as Lenton and Wilson prevailed 17-5.